«High alert» declared in South Korea ahead of presidential polls

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South Korea has placed its military on high alert ahead of its presidential elections, just as its North Korean neighbour has called to put an end to the decades-long “inter-Korean confrontation.” Pyongyang has suggested that Seoul pave the way for a “new era of unification” to maintain peace between the two sides.

In recent months, there have been increased military tensions on the peninsula amid a series of the North’s ballistic missile launches and speculation that it may conduct another nuclear test or fire a long-range rocket.

“We are maintaining the current level of defense posture,” the defense ministry’s spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a press briefing.

He was responding to a question about whether the ministry plans to raise the alert level in connection with Tuesday’s snap elections to pick the successor to Park Geun-hye, who was impeached for a bribery and influence-peddling scandal.

The winner of the race will assume the control of the nation’s military simultaneously with being elected, he added.


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